Sanders: The grand things in life
You have heard, “We should have had the grandchildren first.”
Although impossible to do, it is true. And here is why. When your own children are growing up and doing fun (or naughty) things, you are so busy with life, you don’t really have time to do anything other than react at the moment. Yes, you enjoy the cleaver sayings or amusing antics, then it is back to folding laundry, cooking dinner, or getting out the door on time for work.
After grandchildren go home for the evening, you can revel in the day’s events. When you don’t see a child every single day it may be easier to notice the development that seems to happen in leaps and bounds, and therefore is more noticeable. Like every other grandma in the world, my grandchildren are B&B — brilliant and beautiful. We joke about that and I imagine every granddad also feels the same way. Yet it all boils down to having (or being able to take) more time to spend with the grandchild and maximizing on the opportunity. It doesn’t have to mean spoiling with material things, but with attention and mindfulness, and that is a good kind of spoiling.
For a harried and tired mother, offering to keep a grandchild for a few hours can be a boost to the mother’s morale. That could allow the mother to do anything she wants for few hours — read a book, take a nap or do chores—in peace and quiet. Moms remember how much they enjoyed their little ones but if you asked grandmothers what they most remembered about being mothers they often reply, “I was exhausted.” That is not a negative comment on being a mother, just a factual one.
Grandparents — and parents — like to repeat their children’s stories; although some may consider it bragging, most do so out of a sense of awe, as in, how did she come up with that.
When a child watches her dad shave with an electric razor and asks, “Daddy, why are you erasing your whiskers?” We think it’s brilliant for her to come up with that analogy. Or when a child keeps saying, “Grandma, you have a pretty butt,” and everyone is wondering where in the world she learned THAT, someone realizes that ‘butt’ is the child’s word for button. Whew!
Being a grandparent makes one really glad that God gives babies to young people. Yet if you are not blessed with children until later in life, and everyone assumes you are the grandparent, both you and the child might get away with more fun shenanigans in public. Everyone expects grandparents to be a little eccentric, don’t they?
A friend of mine asked me for advice on being a new grandparent. All I could tell her was to enjoy it and to hang onto her hat as she’ll be in for the ride of her life — a lifetime that will seem like only 8 seconds. ❖